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Section of Highway 101 on South Coast reopens after five hour plus closure due to fatal truck crash

Santa Barbara County Fire Department
A tractor-trailer rig ran off of Highway 101 west of Santa Barbara early Thursday morning, smashing into a tree. The accident killed the driver, and closed the northbound 101 in the area for more than five hours.

Northbound lanes of Highway 101 were shut down between Southern and Northern Santa Barbara County during the morning commute Thursday because of a fatal big rig accident.

Highway 101 is back open again after a fatal tractor-trailer rig accident closed northbound lanes on the Gaviota coastline for more than five hours Thursday.

The crash happened at around 5 a.m. CHP investigators say a northbound truck drifted off the highway at Calle Mariposa Reina, which is about 30 miles west of Santa Barbara. The truck smashed into a tree, killing the driver.

The crash spread debris and fuel across the northbound lanes, requiring the use of a hazardous materials team to clean up the mess. It took more than five hours to fully reopen the highway.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.